Pilgrim and former Buddhist monk, artist, metal-finisher and gilder,
school teacher and instructor Martin has a diverse background in both
the arts and the sciences, and with a broad range of skills and
experience he specializes in the creation of Sacred Art.
Martin graduated from the Asian Institute
of Gemmological Sciences (Bangkok, Thailand) with his Accredited
Gemmologist Diploma in 1982; and also from the Gemological Institute of America
(G.I.A.) with diplomas in Jewelry
Manufacturing Arts (California) in 1986, and Diamonds and Diamond Grading
(NewYork) in 1995.
Born in the UK, Martin travelled to India and Nepal in 1974 and for 8
years lived on Upper Dharamkot, a remote ridge above the town of
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas. Over the past 40 years he has
studied Buddhist philosophy and Asian Religious Art, and practiced meditation with masters in both the
Tibetan Nalanda Traditions and the Theravada. His first meeting with
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other renowned teachers was in 1976 and
monks ordination at the World Peace Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma in 1979
through the Buddha Sasana Council.
After returning to lay-life and completing gemmological and jewellery
training during the 1980's, Martin spent 10 years working for goldsmiths
on the island of Grand Cayman in the British West Indies; designing
custom-made jewellery, buying gems at source, jewellery appraising,
retail jewellery store management, and wholesale and retail jewellery
business software development. Martin specialised as a numismatic
researcher and consultant, buying gold doubloons and other shipwrecked
treasure from Caribbean salvage operations, as well as buying at auction ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins. Many of these coins
were incorporated into one-of-a kind necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings
and other jewellery pieces embellished with coloured gemstones and diamonds.
In 1997, after 15 years working in the Jewellery trade, he was invited
to assist with the gilding of the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda in
Sunshine, New South Wales, Australia; the following year with the gilding of the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda in
Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.; and in 2000 the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda at the International Meditation Centre near Klagenfurt, Austria.
These are all large stupas in the Burmese style and constructed as
Meditation Pagodas. At each of the Pagodas all the domes were gilded, not
only the large central dome but also 8 smaller domes as well as the crown/parasols
and accompanying ornaments. The inside of the main domes were gilded as was
the intricately wood-carved and lacquered Buddha thrones.
Martin returned to
the Himalayas in 1998 and set up the Gilding Arts Studio specialising in his
main interest of Buddhist and Asian
Works include Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, stupas and pagodas,
meditational accessories as well as ornaments for altars and decorations for
temples in various Buddhist traditions.
Martin currently lives between studios on Bruny Island, Australia and
various cities around Asia; in Nepal, China, India, Laos and other
pilgrimage sites and Buddhist centres around the world.
The Society of Gilders
Member of the Convocation of Jewellers
G.I.A. and A.I.G.S. Alumni Associations